DShK on tripod with anti-aircraft sights of later series in Batey ha-Osef museum, Israel.
|Type||Heavy machine gun|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|In service||1938 – Present|
|Used by||See Users|
World War II
Chinese Civil War
First Indochina War
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
Yom Kippur War
Lebanese civil war
Cambodian–Thai border stand-off
Libyan civil war
Syrian civil war
|Designer||Vasily Degtyaryov, Georgi Shpagin|
|Variants||DK, DShKM , DSHKS, Type 54 HMG|
|Weight||34 kg (74.96 lb) (gun only) |
157 kg (346.13 lb) on wheeled mounting
|Length||1,625 mm (64.0 in)|
|Barrel length||1,070 mm (42.1 in)|
|Action||gas-operated reloading locking flaps|
|Rate of fire||600 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||850 m/s (2,788 ft/s)|
|Effective range||2000 m|
|Maximum range||2500 m|
|Feed system||belt 50 rounds|
The DShK 1938 (ДШК, for Дегтярёва-Шпагина Крупнокалиберный, Degtyaryova-Shpagina Krupnokaliberny, 'Degtyaryov-Shpagin Large-Calibre') is a Soviet heavy machine gun firing the 12.7×108mm cartridge. The weapon was also used as a heavy infantry machine gun, in which case it was frequently deployed with a two-wheeled mounting and a single-sheet armour-plate shield. It took its name from the weapons designers Vasily Degtyaryov, who designed the original weapon, and Georgi Shpagin, who improved the cartridge feed mechanism. It is sometimes nicknamed Dushka (lit. "Sweetie", "Dear"), from the abbreviation.
History[edit | edit source]
The requirement for a heavy machine gun appeared in 1929. The first such gun, the Degtyaryov, Krupnokalibernyi (DK, Degtyaryov, Large calibre), was built in 1930 and this gun was produced in small quantities from 1933 to 1935.
The gun was fed from a drum magazine of only thirty rounds, and had a poor rate of fire. Shpagin developed a belt feed mechanism to fit to the DK giving rise, in 1938, to the adoption of the gun as the DShK 1938. This became the standard Soviet heavy machine gun in World War II.
Like its U.S. equivalent, the M2 Browning, the DShK 1938 was used in several roles. As an anti-aircraft weapon it was mounted on pintle and tripod mounts, and on a triple mount on the GAZ-AA truck. Late in the war, it was mounted on the cupolas of IS-2 tanks and ISU-152 self-propelled guns. As an infantry heavy support weapon it used a two-wheeled trolley which unfolded into a tripod for anti-aircraft use, similar to the mount developed by Vladimirov for the 1910 Maxim gun. It was also mounted in vehicle turrets, for example, in the T-40 light amphibious tank. In 1946, the DShK 1938/46 or DShKM (M for modernized) version was introduced.
In addition to the Soviet Union and Russia, the DShK has been manufactured under license by a number of countries, including the People's Republic of China, Pakistan and Romania. Today, it has been mostly replaced in favour of the more modern NSV and Kord designs. Nevertheless, the DShK is still one of the most widely used heavy machine guns.
In June 1988, during the conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles, a British Army Westland Lynx helicopter was hit 15 times by two Provisional IRA DShKs smuggled in from Libya and forced to crash-land near Cashel Lough Upper, south County Armagh. DShKs were also used in 2004, against British troops in Al-Amarah, Iraq.
Users[edit | edit source]
Non-state users[edit | edit source]
- Iraqi insurgency
- Provisional IRA
- Viet Cong: Extensively used during the Vietnam War.
- Anti-Gaddafi forces: Used along with other heavy automatic weapons mounted on technicals during the Libyan civil war.
- Syrian opposition in the Syrian civil war (according to the government)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
- FN BRG-15
- KPV heavy machine gun
- Kord machine gun
- M2 Browning machine gun
- NSV machine gun
- List of Russian weaponry
References[edit | edit source]
- Harnden, Toby (2000).Bandit Country:The IRA and South Armagh. Coronet Books, pp. 360-361 ISBN 0-340-71737-8
- Mills, Dan (2007). "16". Sniper One. Penguin Group. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7181-4994-9. "They were Dshkes, a Russian-made beast of a thing that fires half-inch calibre rounds and was designed to bring down helicopters."
- Jones, Richard D.; Ness, Leland S., eds (January 27, 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- Gander, Terry J.; Hogg, Ian V. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1995/1996. Jane's Information Group; 21 edition (May 1995). ISBN 978-0-7106-1241-0.
- Miller, David (2001). The Illustrated Directory of 20th Century Guns. London: Salamander Books Ltd.. ISBN 978-1-84065-245-1.
- G3 Defence Magazine August 2010
- Mongolian military museum. Ulaanbaatar. Sights of intersest
- O'Halloran, Kevin. Rwanda: Unamir 1994/1995. Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 9781921941481.
- "12.7mm DShK heavy machinegun". http://www.rusmilitary.com/html/dshk_hmg.htm. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- uncovering the irish republican army pbs.org
- Al-Jazeera coverage of Libyan uprising Youtube.com
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Leszek Erenfeicht (29 August 2012) "Dushka: The Soviet Fifty Caliber", Small Arms Defense Journal, Vol. 4, No. 3
- Koll, Christian (2009). Soviet Cannon - A Comprehensive Study of Soviet Arms and Ammunition in Calibres 12.7mm to 57mm. Austria: Koll. p. 53. ISBN 978-3-200-01445-9. http://www.russianammo.org.
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